Spied: eDrive 3 series hybrid on the way

by Tim Jones on August 11, 2014, 6:52 pm
edrive bmw 3 series

BMW's latest 3 series hybrid test mule was caught out testing. BMW isn't trying very hard to disguise this eDrive 3 series, giving away all the cues with the "Hybrid Test Vehicle" sticker and the front fender charging port door clearly visible.

Unlike the current 3 series hybrid, the ActiveHybrid3, the eDrive 3 series gives owners the ability to charge up the batteries at home. This gives eDrive owners a true hybrid experience. The eDrive system (at least in the eDrive X5) can run in electric only mode for economy, and sport mode for the enthusiast adding power to the N20 gasoline engines output. In a true winning combination the eDrive system is both ecological and sporty. BMW has been working no this third generation hybrid system for some time now

BMW eDrive 3 series

Possible BMW eDrive 3 Series Drivetrain
  • Combined output of 270+ horsepower and 300+lb-ft of torque
  • N20 4 cylinder TwinPower gasoline engine makes 245hp, 255lb-ft
  • eMotor is BMW designed, ZF built and puts out 95hp and 185lb-ft
  • eMotor only option giving the eDrive 3 series 15-20 miles of electric only range
  • Battery pack tucked safely under rear trunk floor
  • Electronics borrowed from BMW i and applied to the F3x 3 series (and possibly 4 series)
  • MPG range could be 75+ depending on driving style
  • Electronically actuated clutch can completely decouple engine from drivetrain
  • 8 speed ZF transmission standard with a xDrive as a strong possibility

Hands on with the BMW X5 eDrive - a green SUV

Coming in at a more affordable price point, more battery life, a powerful electric motor and putting down more power then the 328i makes this hybrid worth another look. If our speculation on the eDrive drive train is correct, who might consider an eDrive 3 series as their next car?
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6 responses to Spied: eDrive 3 series hybrid on the way

After Hours commented:
August 11, 2014, 11:10 pm

I'm sceptical. This appears to have the engine and transmission of a 3-series plus an extra electric motor, a much larger battery, and an extra clutch. This adds weight, adds cost, and almost certainly changes the weight balance and handling. I would expect better acceleration, but then many current 3-series drivers happily drive in eco-pro and never use the full acceleration of their present cars. The claimed MPG of 75 is much greater than a Prius--is that realistic?

Am I interested? I need to know a lot more.
RLSinCO commented:
August 12, 2014, 2:13 pm

I already have a BMW hybrid: The ActiveHybrid 3.

And, I should add, my lifetime average MPG to date stands at 37.5. I realize that's not 70+ mpg, but I like my current powertrain setup much better.

But considering that I drive the car aggressively, with an installed Burger JB4 stage 2 tune, that is remarkable. I think I have just about the perfect car for me: stage 2 tuned, 6 cylinder turbo motor for serious driving performance, but economical all around commuter. How do you beat that? Here is a screenshot I took just now from my BMW app: notice the mpg I got on my last trip? It ain't 70 mpg, but I'll take 46 mpg in regular driving. I love this car...
need4speed commented:
August 12, 2014, 4:27 pm

beden1 commented:
August 12, 2014, 4:41 pm

pcbrew commented:
August 13, 2014, 5:04 pm

I would consider it but depends on pricing relative to the 328i or 330i model.
When is this slated to be released? LCI comes out in July 2015, but previous reports are that this hybrid model was ~Nov-2015.
tim330i commented:
August 14, 2014, 1:33 pm

Originally Posted by pcbrew View Post
I would consider it but depends on pricing relative to the 328i or 330i model.
When is this slated to be released? LCI comes out in July 2015, but previous reports are that this hybrid model was ~Nov-2015.
I would think at 3 series LCI based on the covered up bumper. It is also a good opportunity to drop the ActiveHybrid3.